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I've received an email purporting to be from ABD Debt Recovery, requesting payment, by bank transfer, of £56 - which I allegedly owe to Brilliant Energy.
I was indeed a customer of Brilliant Energy, which ceased trading in March 2019. This is the only correspondence regarding this alleged debt that I've ever received. The phone number in the email doesn't work. I have replied to the email requesting evidence of the debt. What else can I do?
Name and address supplied
Faye Lipson, Which? senior researcher, says...
You were right to be cautious, as this email raises many red flags.
Brilliant Energy was swiftly taken over by SSE, overseen by regulator Ofgem. You and fellow customers would have been automatically switched to SSE and any inherited debt balance would have been managed by the new supplier, or Brilliant's administrator, Begbies Traynor, in the months following. Not three years later.
The inclusion of a sort code and account number in the actual email is quite typical of scammers - they prefer bank transfers as they are much harder to reverse.
Then there's the non-working phone number and the fact that ABD's stated website doesn't work either. A quick look at Companies House tells us there is an ABD Debt Recovery Ltd registered, but it's listed as dormant in 2021. Our attempt to email the firm led to an automatic bounceback.
A list of former Brilliant Energy customers may have been sold on or otherwise fallen into the hands of scammers, for whom ABD - which may be genuine - has proved a useful front.
Don't send any money. Speak to SSE (sse.co.uk) to verify whether anything is owing. If it says no, report the email to , or if you live in Scotland you can report a scam directly to the police by calling 101.
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